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Gear For Our Trip To Sweden

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

From the High Seat; Early Season Outing

November sees the start of the Chinese water deer (CWD) season and to open it I often make an outing with a few like minded companions to make a good start on the cull. This is an account of one of those early season outings from a year or two ago:

Before we even reached our parking spot, we saw our first CWD, unperturbed by our presence we could only watch him briefly before trundling on. Once parked, we wished each other good fortune and set off after a careful re-brief on safety and communications procedures and where everyone would be seated on this grey, damp and increasingly windy morning.

A few minutes later we had all taken up our respective positions and began our vigil as the light slowly gathered in the east. Through binoculars, dark shapes could be seen but not yet in sufficient detail to be useful, weeds and the ever present ‘bog oak’ projections, can all take on the form you want them to in poor light and patience is the only solution.

A double Crack and thump told me that Carl had found his mark with 2 rounds in quick succession. I awaited Carl’s call so that I could leave my seat as I could also see deer now, though not close enough for a shot and I was eager to move but didn’t want to rush Carl and safety and communications protocol demanded that we were in touch before I moved. Carl’s report came, he had two deer and was observing another, as was I. We agreed that he would make safe and I would leave my seat to pursue one of my opportunities, Steve hadn’t seen anything yet but the day was young.

I was out of my seat and crossed a very rough track to the cover of some tall weeds, from here I confirmed the position of 2 deer and dropped back into deeper cover to make my advance unseen. Progress was slow to avoid making any noise in the brittle cover and soon I had closed the range to around 75 yards, a safe and comfortable shot even in this morning’s stiff breeze. I opened up my shooting sticks and rested the rifle on top, made a few minor adjustments and slipped behind the stock to take the first view of my target through the scope. It was a good size yearling buck, no fangs to speak of and moving confidently and freely with no sign of impediment. I slipped the safety catch off and as he turned broad side on to me, two deep breaths, exhale as I put the cross hairs just behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The rifle cracked and nudged me gently in the shoulder and I heard the bullet strike its target and saw a shower of hair to confirm the fact. 

Chinese water deer often shed huge clumps of fur when they are hit, this makes is fairly strait forward to track them down if they run from the point where they were hit. 
My phone buzzed almost immediately with a message that Steve had dropped a nice buck and I replied that I had too. The deer I had shot had disappeared in to cover as they often do but experience told me that I was only going to walk a very few yards to find my prize. This was my hundredth CWD. I made safe and started my gentle stroll to the spot where I last saw my deer and as I expected, I found hair and blood at the point of impact confirming what I already knew and a significant blood trail led the 8 or 10 paces to where the little fellow lay motionless in a dry ditch. He was in lovely condition, fine coat and fat. I carried out all of the carcass inspections required for meat to be put in the food chain and got to work with knife and rubber gloves to prepare him for the carry out.



Back at home, the butchery confirmed that the animal was in great condition, very fat from a plentiful supply of quality fodder, kidneys almost invisible in a shroud of thick fat, this is going to eat beautifully!



MG

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